Container Beach House, Sydney
‘If you think of Brick, you say to Brick, ‘What do you want, Brick?’ And Brick says to you, ‘I like an Arch.’ And if you say to Brick, ‘Look, arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over you. What do you think of that, Brick?’ Brick says, ‘I like an Arch.’ And it’s important, you see, that you honor the material that you use. [..] You can only do it if you honor the brick and glorify the brick instead of shortchanging it.” - Louis Kahn
What do a container want?
We might ask when building container houses. What else can we do? The container must in some way be reflected in the building and in its inheric logic or else the containers could be sold for the price of their weight. There are numerous house designs using containers horizontal, but how would the potentials be if the container were raised vertical? that is the topic of this project.
Modest & generous
The plot is structured in three sections. The arrival area to the east, the compound in the middle and the vista to the west. The building is clearly divided into separate elements containing either private or common functions. By separating the building into different sections only connected by walking in open air, you are offered the experience of the ever changing nature of the site, feel the sun, the wind and the smell of sea.
The compound is gently spread out at the site, taking advantages of different local qualities like view, sun direction, slopes, traffic and vegetation. One could see it as a modern reinterpretation of the traditional swedish country house, where each function had it own building and you would have to go out to fetch water, go to the loo, or enter the cellar.
This is in many way a modest house, very simple in its design, but in the same time a very generous with its unique relation to the site and the surroundings
This is not a spaceship that is temporarily landed, but a building that is firmly rooted to the site and closely integrated to the plot. The containers might have drifted ashore long ago and now been integrated into the surrounding, partly covered by vegetation and soil. They might have been there always and now slowly emerging out of the soil like the surrounding rocks.
The containers works as the outer weather protecting skin, only perforated for windows or doorways. The buildings are covered inside with cork insulation boards mounted with a gab to the metal structure of the containers making room for ventilation. the cork insulation boards provides a comfortable interior with sublime intimate climate and acoustic qualities. Living spaces are ventilated by air intake running underground from shaded area, making sure of a stable temperature in warm and cold seasons. water tanks placed under the floor doubles as heat retaining mass, thus regulating the temperature of the living space. The tanks are used for rain harvesting and grey water reuse. The complex is supplied with solar heat and photovoltaics panels.